If you walk away from
your PC to get a cup of coffee or attend a quick meeting without logging off the
network (or setting a screen saver password), you might be leaving your computer
vulnerable to prying eyes. To prevent this, first make sure a network password
and logon procedure is in place on your system. (This is usually in the hands of
your network administrator.) Then, to prevent others from physically accessing
your files, log off your system every time you leave your work area.
If logging off the entire system every time you leave your desk sounds too cumbersome, use a screen saver password instead. Right-click a blank spot on the Desktop and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Screen Saver tab and choose a screen saver from the drop-down menu in the Screen Saver section. Check the Password Protected checkbox and then click the Change button to display the Change Password dialog box. Enter (and then confirm) your password and click OK. Close all dialog boxes. Now the next time you press a key or move your mouse to clear the screen saver, youíll also be prompted for your screen saver password.
One final note on passwords: While adding passwords can protect your system from nosy co-workers, donít create so many that you lose track of them. You might accidentally lock yourself out of the very system youíre trying to protect. If you need to, keep a hard copy of your passwords somewhere close enough to be handy but not obvious enough to cancel out their usefulness.